Cherry blossoms have the meaning of purity and beauty – it also signifies a magical time as South Korea shrugs off the winter chill and re-emerges bearing lovely colours and scents. In flower for only one week a year, it is a short window but one worth making the effort to be a part of. Whether you are viewing these sprays of beauty in the day or the evening you are sure to be left in awe at mother nature and her pink and white creations.
The origins of cherry blossoms in South Korea is contentious. The Japanese planted Yoshino cherry trees at Seoul’s Changgyeonggung Palace and the viewing of cherry blossoms was introduced to Korea during Japanese rule. The festivals continued even after the Japanese surrendered at the end of WWII but have been controversial, and many cherry trees were cut down to celebrate the fiftieth anniversary of the Japanese surrender because they were seen as symbols of the occupation.
When travellers think of visiting streets bursting with this beautiful display of pink they instantly think of Japan for Cherry Blossom season. South Korea is often missed as travellers get wrapped up in Japan’s Sakura season or ‘Golden Week’. So that is why we would like to introduce you to Walking Through Cherry Blossoms Crooked Compass style.
Where are the best places to view cherry blossom in South Korea?
Anmingogae Hill is a 9 kilometre-long hill that reaches from Taebaek-dong in Jinhae to Anmin-dong in Changwon. Six of the nine kilometres are lined with cherry blossoms, making up the famous Jinhae Cherry Blossom Tunnel. The hill is also known for its view of Jinhaeman Bay, Ungsan Mountain, Sirubong Peak and Cheonjabong Peak.
Gyeonghwa Station, a famous spot for cherry blossom, is a small railway station in Gyeonghwa-dong, Jinhae-gu, Changwon-si, Gyeongsangnam-do. The station is neighbored by Seongjusa Station to the north and Jinhae Station to the south. Railway services in and out of Gyeonghwa Station have been discontinued as of 2006. You can walk through the tracks surrounded by rows of cherry blossom trees, making a tunnel effect filled with flowers. Along with Anmingogae Road and Yeojwacheon Bridge, Gyeonghwa Station is one of the top three spots in Jinhae for taking photos of the cherry blossoms. If you think the area looks familiar then you may have seen it before as it is often featured in Korean movies and dramas.
There are two sections of the Dream Road totalling around 14km each section and taking approx 6 hours per section if you were to walk on foot. Listen to the birds singing in the surrounding forest as you walk the Dream Road. The sweet scent of the cherry blossoms floats on the air and their petals will rain on you like soft snow flakes. Clear your mind and absorb the spectacular beauty that mother nature has created around you.
It’s not too late to start planning your cherry blossom pilgrimage in South Korea for 2019! Our Walking Through Cherry Blossoms small group tour will take you there. Our six day tour not only takes you to the best cherry blossom spots but introduces you to the zen of Buddhism at a traditional temple stay. Enjoy alms under the starry sky and meditation in the mountains and traditional tea ceremony’s with the monks and nuns. The perfect introduction to both the Korean and Buddhist culture and the beautiful natural world often hidden from many travellers minds.
More information about this experience can be found on our website. If you would like to make this experience yours then contact us so we can help you secure your spot on this amazing adventure of a lifetime – places are limited. We look forward to welcoming you on our Walking Through Cherry Blossoms tour.
This category of tours involves light trekking, walking, cycling, rafting or kayaking for a few hours each day with a small amount of inclines and declines. You will require a reasonable level of fitness and good health to participate. It is important to note that due to the nature of some of our trips, they may take place in remote areas (with basic facilities) and can involve long travelling days on various modes of transport.
Suggested preparation : At least 3 months prior to departure, it is recommended that you undertake aerobic exercise (this may include jogging, cycling or fast walking) for 30 minutes, three times a week. It is also advised to walk on variable terrain and in variable weather conditions. For a cycling adventure, road cycling twice a week is recommended and for adventures which involve paddling and kayaking, it is important to gain confidence and rhythm rather than speed prior to departure.
This category of tours involve trekking, kayaking and cycling for period of 6 to 8 hours a day at a fairly consistent pace. Ideal for people looking to slightly increase the heart rate. For our moderately rated tours, you must have a good level of fitness and also be in good health. It is also important to be prepared for variable weather conditions. Altitude may also come into play. This category of tours may involve visiting remote areas where facilities can be quite basic. Accommodation may also involve camping, homestays or basic accommodation where facilities may not be considered of western standards. To enjoy this style of travel, it is suggested for travellers to have a reasonable level of fitness and health, a positive attitude, as well as a fairly active lifestyle. An open mind is also required.
Suggested preparation: At least 3 months prior to departure, it is recommended that you undertake 45mins – 1 hour of aerobic exercise, three to four times a week. Some potential exercises that could be beneficial include hill walking with a backpack on over variable terrain and weather conditions, as well as running and cycling dependent on the activity you plan on undertaking.
This category of tours involves trekking, kayaking, cycling or other adventure activities in remote areas for up to 8 to 10 hours a day. It is important to note that with the remoteness of some regions comes a variety of other challenges such as variable weather conditions, accommodation as well as facilities. You must have an excellent level of fitness and good health to be able to partake in this category of tour. You must have confidence in your own ability and be in good physical condition. Includes extended periods of endurance.
Suggested preparation: At least 3 to 4 months of strenuous exercise, four times a week. When preparing for treks it would be beneficial to participate in hill walks with a weighted day pack (approximately 5-8 kg) once a week for aerobic fitness and strengthening of leg muscles. It is also important to do this on variable terrain to prepare for challenging adventures. When preparing for cycling adventures, regular bike riding (at least 4 to 5 times a week for 1-4 hours is essential). It is also important to cycle on uneven surfaces or even participate in other aerobic exercises such as running or swimming to build up strength and stamina. Altitude may also be a factor in these tours.
This category of tour often involves extreme trekking, cycling or other extreme adventure activities. It is important to expect remote and poorly defined tracks and to be prepared for variable weather conditions for 10 to 12 hours per day (may sometimes be more depending on weather and altitude). These adventures are suitable for travellers who have prior experience in strenuous travel and activities, are extremely fit and have excellent health. It is also important to note that some of the terrain on these adventures will involve trekking in snow, at high attitude levels and may require technical equipment.
Suggested preparation: It is important to note that physical fitness should be an ongoing activity, commencing around 5-6 months prior to departure, or even before if you have no prior fitness. Exercise should focus on building maximum endurance and stamina. Four to five hard sessions of 40-60 mins per week should be completed and can include exercises such as going to the gym, running, swimming or cycling to focus on building aerobic stamina. It could also be beneficial to prepare by hiking on rough terrain, in extreme weather conditions or partake in altitude training.